Performing the Gospel

Exploring the Borderland of Worship, Entertainment, and the Arts

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Deborah Sokolove
  • Eugene, OR: 
    Cascade Books
    , March
     206 pages.
     For other formats: Link to Publisher's Website.


What is the difference between good worship and good entertainment? Too often, people disparage some aspect of worship by calling it “just entertainment” or “just a performance.” Others say that they do not need to go to church because they have profound spiritual or even religious experiences at concerts, plays, movies, or dances. How is worship different from these performing arts? How is art different from entertainment? This book looks at the history of the performing arts both in worship and as worship, with particular attention to the attitudes that shape our ideas about both worship and entertainment. Working definitions of words like “art,” “excellence,” “liturgy,” and “play” help to illuminate what different people mean when they use them in conversations about Christian worship. Putting theological, scriptural, and practical writings on worship and the performing arts in conversation with interviews with dancers, musicians, actors, preachers, and liturgical scholars, this volume is intended to help pastors, performers, and everyone who plans, leads, or cares about worship talk with one another in mutually respectful and helpful ways.

About the Author(s)/Editor(s)/Translator(s): 

Deborah Sokolove is Professor Emeritus of Art & Religion at Wesley Theological Seminary.


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